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Volume XXV June, 2021 Number 6 
GENEALOGY NEWS We both have been very active in the MCG program 

Marjorie Slavens 

Genealogy Class 

This month, MCG President Al Morse taught a 
Genealogy class as a part of Foxwood Springs new 
Academy program. Residents have been asked to 
teach short classes on topics of their interest so they 
can share this information with other residents. Al 
decided to teach an introductory course for residents 
who had not yet begun their own serious genealogical 
research. He discussed websites, such as Ancestry, 
Family Search, etc, and described the information 
that was available on these sites. Since he and his 
wife, Dorothy, had benefitted from DNA research and 
had made some good contacts through this source, he 
also described the process and benefits of 
participating in such studies. He had a total of 15 
students who participated in his class, and some of 
them have joined our MCG Newsletter mailing list. 
Joyce McKiddy, one of the participants, had worked 
at the National Archives in St. Louis, and he asked her 
to give a presentation about the facility and the 
information that can be obtained from NARA 

Genealogy SIG 

As a result of this experience, Al has suggested that 
we resume meeting with our Genealogy SIG (Special 
Interest Group. This group became a part of the 
Computer Club Program at Foxwood in 1999 and 
continued for about 15 years. We met on Friday 
afternoons and discussed our family history research, 
providing some assistance to participants who were 
having research problems. Both Al and I had to 
terminate that program when we and many other 
residents became more involved with our Fellowship 
of John program, which provides financial help to 
residents who have outlived their financial resources 
and need some assistance. 

here, but we decided three years ago that we could not 
continue having monthly meetings when we no longer 
had enough participants to handle scheduling of 
programs each month. MCG has continued to provide 
assistance through our newsletters, but Al has 
suggested that we consider scheduling monthly 
meetings, possibly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, for 
discussion of family research so we can share our 
research and provide some help to others who have 
encountered brick walls in their research. Previously, 
the Genealogy SIG was limited to Foxwood residents, 
but we would welcome the participation of our MCG 
friends who could schedule such an event and would 
like to participate with us. We welcome suggestions 
from our readers. We would not schedule speakers but 
would be able to work together as we share our family 
history research. 

Missouri pioneers 

In May, I started a series of articles about my 
ancestors who were ‘“‘Missouri Pioneers”. I received 
the following note from Julia Morse, our dedicated 
Librarian and Website Administrator: 

“T thought I'd let you know that I featured your 
newsletter article on Missouri Pioneers Jonathan 
Eppright and Henry Welty as a blog post (in addition 
to it being in the archived newsletter, which was 
posted earlier). 

Your article is posted here: 1/06/04/missouri-pio 


I think I didn't mention to you that I also featured your 
Civil War Letters article in March. It is found here: 


I have also slowly been updating the archived 

newsletters, trying to do at least a few more each 

Weare so grateful to Julia, who is a Faculty member 
at Kansas State University and not retired as Al and I, 
for all of her excellent work with articles for this 
newsletter and also management of the website. We 
are all learning a great deal from her participation. I 
have given her copies of the MCG Newsletters from 
January, 2006 to the present, and she plans to place 
them on our website, 

Al Morse 

For a few years, Father's Day was not a “looked for 
holiday”. On Saturday, June 17, 1975, my father, 
Albert Frank Morse, was in the Nevada, Missouri city 
hospital for tests. As a nurse was visiting with him at 
noon time, he went into convulsions. It was 
determined that he had a stroke. He was placed in 
their ICU room. My mother, Mildred Catherine 
(Janssens) Morse, called to tell me. She did not drive, 
but had made arrangements with someone to take her 
from Rich Hill, Missouri to Nevada, about 20 miles 

My oldest son had had minor surgery on Friday and 
was home. I told my wife, Dorothy Jean (Newcomb) 
Morse, that I needed to go to Nevada. She stayed at 
our home in Independence, Missouri with our two 
sons. When I reached the hospital and saw my mother, 
she said that she had seen Dad and visited with him, 
briefly. But, he then had a massive cerebral 
hemorrhage. He was then unconscious and breathing 
very heavily. The doctor gave us no hope for his 
survival. My brother also arrived. We spent the night 
there. We could go into the ICU every two hours for 
a few minutes. On Father's Day, June 18, he passed 

In June, 1973, the youth group from Eastgate 
Christian Church in Independence was preparing to go 
to Juarez, Mexico on a mission trip. There were 10 
youth and 4 adults that went on the trip in a rented 
Winnebago RV. I was one of the adults. I helped 
drive, cook, and lead devotionals. We arrived on 
Saturday evening in El Paso, Texas. We called the 

minister of the Juarez Christian Church. He came over 
to meet us and then led us over the border. We arrived 
about dark. We prepared a song to sing at the church 
service for the next morning. The guys all slept on air 
mattresses on a concrete floor in the church and gals 
all slept in the RV. Their was a kitchen in the church 
where we prepared our meals. 

We attended the church service on Sunday morning. 
They then had a pot luck dinner for us, which was 
delicious. On Monday, we started painting the inside 
of the parsonage. We finished it on Tuesday. On 
Wednesday, at about 3 am, we got on a Trailsway Bus 
and traveled to Chihuahua. On Friday morning, we 
loaded the RV and headed home. We were expecting 
to arrive back in Independence on Saturday evening. 
We did tour Carlsbad Caverns. We had already had 
two tire problems and had a third one on US 54 
highway just past Kingman, Kansas. A car stopped 
and took Jim, the other driver and head of our team, to 
Wichita. He made phone calls. We were to leave the 
RV there and take a bus to Kansas City. About 4 cars 
brought Jim back and to take us, without luggage, to 
Wichita. We boarded a bus about midnight and 
arrived downtown Kansas City about 5 am. Several 
family cars were there to take us to our homes in 
Independence on Sunday, Father's Day. Most of us did 
make it to church services. 

Dorothy got a phone call telling her that her 
grandmother, Lillie Ethel (Burke) McDaniel had died. 
Her funeral was Tuesday. I was still worn out from the 
trip to Mexico, but I was at the funeral and then at the 
farm house, but I remember very little of that day. So 
on the first anniversary of my father's death on 
Father's Day, Dorothy's grandmother had died. 

In 1974, our oldest son was to have major surgery a 
few days before Father's Day. All kinds of thoughts 
can run through your mind by remembering the two 
previous Father's Days. The surgery was successful. 
On Saturday, I was with Brian when they came around 
with the menu choices for Sunday, Father's Day. One 
option was “steak and lobster’’. I ordered it. He loved 
steak, but had never tasted lobster. So on Father's Day, 
he had the steak and I had the lobster. I had a very 
good Father's Day. 

Also in 1974, Dorothy had her first cancer surgery on 

March 4 and was dismissed on March 13. I was very 
busy taking a 6 year old kindergardener and a 3 year 
old son to various people and picking them up in the 
afternoon after I had taught school all day. Even after 
that surgery, a radical left mastectomy, she and I 
alternated days and nights with our oldest son in the 
hospital in June. She also noticed a lump in her left 
neck in June of 1975. This led to her second cancer 
surgery which was done in July. Following the 
surgery, she had about 6 weeks of radiation 
treatments in the neck. These treatments made it 
difficult for her to swallow for several weeks. 

Through it all, we survived. We had no more major 
surgeries for Dorothy until 1996. She had her third 
cancer surgery, which was a radical right mastectomy. 
We were both retired by then. She told me that she 
only hoped, following her first two cancer surgeries, 
that she would see the boys graduate from high 
school. She also saw them graduate from college and 
saw two grandsons. 


Julia Morse 

Family Tree Magazine has posted their selections of 
“101 Best Genealogy Websites of 2021:” 

While some of their picks are sites familiar to most 
researchers, there are quite a few recommendations 
that are not as well known. It is worth reviewing 
their full list to discover new-to-you resources. 

The list is a mix of free and fee-based sites, but 
most are free resources. The sites are broken down 
into categories, such as Best Family Tree and 
Sharing Websites, Best Genealogy Tech Tools, Best 
Genetic Genealogy Websites, Best Cemetery 
Websites, Best Historical Map Websites; Best 
Military Record Websites, Best Historical 
Newspaper Websites, Best African American 
Genealogy Websites, and Best Genealogy Websites 
for various regions: U.S.; Scandinavian; European; 
UK, Irish and Commonwealth. 

The best free sites for military records include: 

The National Parks Service Civil War Soldiers and 
Sailers Database 

Daughters of the American Revolution 
Genealogical Research System 

The National Parks Service US Mexican War 
Soldiers & Sailors Database 

Their list of best cemetery websites reminds us that, 
in addition to the popular BillionGraves and 
Findagrave sites, you may find the following useful 
for specialty needs: 

The American Battle Monuments Commission lists 
information on Americans buried in overseas 
cemeteries during the two World Wars. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a 
Nationwide Gravesite Locator, a database of burials 
in national VA _ cemeteries, state veterans 
cemeteries, and other related locations. 

The Best Genealogy Tech Tools category includes 
an assortment of resources. In addition to using 
Internet Archive to search for family information 
from digitized texts and documents across the 
globe, a site called Genealogy Gophers provides an 
alternate location to search deep into family history 
publications. A unique free service that builds a 
timeline of your family tree with photographs and 
world history matches is called Twile. The 
resulting presentation is said to be an engaging way 
to share family history with others. Cyndi’s List 
continues to be honored for its categorized lists of 
over 315,000 genealogy resource links. 

With so many well-reputed resources, it is worth 
your time to explore. 

TO JULY 14, 1805 

Tryphena White 

In the Spring of 1805, Joseph White, age 55, moved 
with his family from West Springfield, 
Massachusetts to the town of Camillus, Onondaga 
County, New York. His twenty-one year old 
daughter, Tryphena, recorded events in her summer 
days as the new home was being built. Her 

narrative gives a _ matter-of-fact account of 
conditions and life of the new settlers: how they 
managed usable water, food, and _ local 
transportation, as well as local visiting and 
religious meetings. 

June 15, 1805. — Saturday in the afternoon our 
building was raised. 

June 22. Saturday. — Elijah and I went over to 
Skaneateles, we set out about noon and arrived there 
a little before sundown, we went to Mr. N. EII's first 
and staid there a little while, and then went on to N. 
Leonard's who lives a little beyond, and Elijah did 
his business with him. Mrs. Norton (Normond's 
house keeper) got tea for us, and we staid till 9 
o'clock, and then went back to Mr. EIl's and lodg'd, 
tho' Normond's people, Mrs. Norton and M, were 
very urgent to have us stay there, but we had 
engaged to go back. 

We lodg'd and eat breakfast at Mr. Ell's, and set out 
about ten o'clock to come back. Mr. EIll's people are 
very clever and agreeable, they have 2 daughters at 
home and one married, she who is married is the 
youngest of the three sisters, have two sons at home, 
and two at Whitestown, the girls were a mind to 
have me stay a week or a fortnight and make a long 
visit. Mrs. Norton likewise proposed to have Elijah 
go home and leave me, for Rowland could bring me 
home any time, however I was not prepared to stay 
on account of cloaths, Normond says he is 
determined to go to Springfield this fall and make a 
visit and bring up one of his sisters. Mrs. Norton 
says I must come then and stay with her for she 
shall be so lonesome she won’t know what to do. 
Rowland is attending Normond's store. 

23, Sunday. — We returned from Skaneateles, got 
home a little before night very tired, the roads are 
the worst that ever was here, nobody can have any 
idea how bad they are that never saw them, to go 
one mile here in a wagon is worse than to go 2 ina 
good road, but we expect to have better roads before 
summer is out. 

24, Monday. — In the forenoon I did housework 
and picked a mess of greens. While I was out 
picking greens Polly hallo'd to me to come and help 

kill a rattlesnake. Mrs. Clarke was coming along out 
of the woods east of Mr. McCracken's and saw him 
but durst not tackle him alone, so Mrs. Clarke, Mr. 
McCracken, Mother, Harold, Polly and I, went out 
to kill him, but the old fellow shoved off and we 
could not find him. when we were coming home 
from Marcellus we saw a dead one lieing by the side 
of the path we stopped and took off his rattles and 
bro't them home. 

After noon Polly and I went over the creek way into 
the woods to a spring of cold water, and bro't some 
home, we have no water to drink but the river water, 
that is very cold and good for river water. 

We came home and rested us and after that we went 
over to see how the new house came on, they have 
got the roof done, and the building partly boarded 
up. It does not look as tho we should get into it this 
some time yet. After we got home from there, I 
went into the garden and wed out one parsnip bed, 
we have several men to work every day, they have 
begun the mill. 

25, Tuesday. — Did the housework and wed some 
in the garden. 

26, Wednesday. — Did housework and wed some in 
the garden, towards night I went down to the 

river with my hook and line to catch some trout but 
had no success. 

27, Thursday. — In the afternoon I went over to Mr. 
Reed's, after some butter, alone, got there, Mrs. 
Reed insisted upon my staying to supper, which I 
was loth to do, for fear of being late home and 
getting lost &c. but she said she would go part of 
the way with me, so I stay'd. she had for supper a 
good dish of tea, an excellent short cake, bak'd by 
the fire, and butter, gingerbread, and green 
gooseberries, stew'd as we do currents for sauce, 
which I think are better than currents. 

When I got home I found our little room filled with 
men, upon enquiry I found them to be the 
Commissioners of highways, they had come to lay 
out some roads, the four Commissioners lodg'd in 
Mr. McCraeken's chamber. Polly and I, besides 6 

men slept up in our chamber, however we had our 
room partitioned off with a blanket. 

28, Friday morning. — We got breakfast for the 
four Commissioners besides our five hired men, the 
Commissioners were gone out all day, came back at 
night and lodged (we washed in creek water.) 

29, Saturday. — They went out a spell in the 
forenoon, and compleated laying out six roads — 3 
one side of the creek and 3 the other side, which all 
meet at the mill place where the bridge is going to 
be. The Commissioners are Esq. Carpenter, Esq. 
Munroe, a Mr. Tapping, and Mr. Lackings. 

30, Sunday, was a pleasant day we did not any of us 
go anywhere, to Meeting there was none near. 

July 1, Monday. — Mrs. M'Cracken had three 
visitors from Cooper's Street, they were Mrs. 
Meligan, and two Mrs. Wheatons, Mrs. Reed sent to 
have us come over there to day but we did not go on 
account of company. 

July 2, Tuesday. — In the afternoon Polly and I 
went over to Mr. Reed's, we went about two o'clock 
and returned before dark, and had a very good visit, 
we had with our tea, biscuit and butter, gingerbread, 
goose berry pye, and sauce. She sent a little boy that 
lives with her, away off two or three miles after 
some, they don't grow very thick about us, but by 
going out a good ways we can get them. 

3, Wednesday Morning. — I got up about an hour 
before sunrise, and went into the garden to weeding 
and stay'd till after sunrise, the sun is so hot that it is 
uncomfortable weeding any other time. We have 
three or four hands at work for us (a week or 
fortnight pass'd) from over in the street as they call 
it, but they expect to go home to-night to keep 

4, Thursday is Independence up here. The day was 
celebrated pretty generally in these parts I believe, 
they had a ball up in the street, which is about two 
or three miles off, and quite a pretty collection, 
there were 14 ladies and nineteen gentlemen, some 
from Seneca river, and from other parts of this town 
and all about. 

Mrs. McCracken and Mother went over to Mr. 
Reed's to visiting, and Polly and I stayed home, we 
did not go to the ball. 

5, Friday, we washed in river water because we can't 
get rain water — there has been no rain here this 
three weeks past, and things have got to be very dry, 
we are obliged to cleanse our water before we can 
wash with it. we cleanse it by putting ashes into it 
and then boil it and skim off a scum that will rise, 
and after all that, it washes shockingly, our clothes 
don't look as they used to. 

6, Saturday — Our two remaining workmen went 
home to see their families, and expected to be gone 
several days, now we have no family but our own. I 
have got to be almost discouraged about getting into 
our house, there has been only one hand to work at 
it, for some time; and it makes pretty slow work, the 
other hands have all been getting and hewing timber 
for the mill, Saw mill. 

7, Sunday, our men all went over into Cooper's 
street after our cow, a week or a fortnight agone, our 
people bought a cow over in Cooper's street, and 
she went home to visiting Thursday or Friday, and 
has not returned, we het water and got out lye all the 
forenoon, in the afternoon we got the kettle on to 
make some soap, and brew'd, about the middle of 
the afternoon I went over to see Mrs. Reed, she is 
not well, Polly has been there most all day, however 
I found Mrs. Reed able to be about house tho' not 

9, Tuesday, we got out lye and boil'd our soap all 
day, the soap does not seem to do well, I suppose tis 
owing to the water as we were obliged to make it of 
river water. 

Mr. McCracken went out with, his gun to hunting a 
little before sundown he had not been gone long 
before he sent in to have Joseph come with a horse, 
and help him home with a deer, so all hands were 
alarmed to get the deer home, he shot him in a 
wheat field about half a mile from the house. Polly 
and I went out to see him before they bro't him 
home, he is a great Buck with velvet horns, 5 
prongs. ... 

12, Friday, we had considerable of a shower, which 
was very much wanted, for the ground was very 
much dried up, the day had been very warm and 
after the shower Polly and I went and set out in the 
space way, which is a space between the houses 
about three or four yards wide, it has a floor made 
of logs which are hew'd the upper side, so as to 
make them flat, there is no covering over head, so 
that the floor was damp, and I took a cold. 

13, Saturday, we washed in rain water, which we 
caught yesterday, or at least mother washed for I 
was so unwell that I did but very little. Saturday Mr. 
Buckley one of the carpenters returned from his 
visit, and Mr. Barton the joiner came two or three 
days ago. 

14, Sunday, Mrs. McCracken and I went over into 
Cooper's street to Meeting, as we knew there was to 
be preaching, Mother refused to go because it was 
so warm, and Polly went over to Mr. Reed's to stay 
with Mrs. Reed while their hired girl could go home 
and back again (she lives about three miles off), so 
that Polly could not go. Our two Methodists Mr. 
McCracken & Father went over on foot, Mrs. Mc 
and I rode, we met in a log house, which was very 
full and crowded with people, the preacher was a 
Methodist. . . . After meeting there were four people 
immers'd three men and one women. After the 
meeting was over they all repaired to the creek and 
there the ceremony was performed. Mrs. Mc. and I 
went up to see them dipp'd and since we were there 
it was nearer for us to go home thro' the other end of 
the street from which we came, we got home about 
dark. I did not feel very well in the morning when I 
went away but was a mind to go. When I got home I 
felt as tho' I never should go again, but I drank three 
or four cups of pea coffee (being very dry) for my 
supper and then went to bed. 

I forgot to mention that Mrs. Reed's sickness proved 
to be a slight turn of the fever and ague. 

Source: Tryphena Ely White and Fanny Kellogg, 
Tryphena Ely White’s Journal: Being a_ Record, 
written One Hundred Years Ago, of the Daily Life 
ofa Young Lady of Puritan Heritage, New Y ork: 

The Grafton Press, 1904, 
age/n13/mode/2up. (Submitted by Julia Morse.) 


Marjorie Slavens 

Before my mother, Mildred Welty Slavens, began 
her family research in the 1970s, we knew nothing 
about her family lines beyond her grandparents, 
Henry Welty and Catharine Mary Eppright, and 
Charles Merlin Kerr and Elzina H. Heape. She did 
not know Henry Welty, who died in June, 2011, 6 
months after her birth or her maternal grandmother, 
Ella Heape, who died in 1895 in New Mexico , 
leaving two small children, Hattie Lee Kerr Welty, 
then 6, and Ora A. Kerr, 3 years old. 

John Kerr, son of James Kerr and Elizabeth Power, 
was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 
1810. He married Susan Adams, and they moved 
first to Ohio and then to Illinois. They had 12 
children between 1831 and 1851. After Susan’s 
death, John married Harriet Dale , and they had one 
daughter. Around 1857-58, he married Elizabeth 
Crawford Branin, and they had 4 children. Charles 
Merlin Kerr was the 16" child of John Kerr and the 
7 child of Elizabeth Crawford. They moved in 
1865 from Piatt County, Illinois first to Cherokee 
County, Kansas and then, by 1867, to Medoc, Jasper 
County, Missouri. John Kerr died in Medoc in 1870. 
Some of the Kerr children lived with their mother, 
but Charles lived with another family. We first 
learned about the older children of John Kerr from 
a Bible, which Charles Kerr had that was dated 
1805 in Philadelphia, that had belonged originally 
to Susan Adam Kerr’s mother, Sarah Adams. 

“Charles Merlin Kerr, son of John Kerr and 
Elizabeth Crawford, was born October 18, 1863 in 
Piatt County, Illinois. He believed he was born in 
DeWitt County, but the census indicates that the 
family lived in Piatt County in the 1860 census, and 
his sister, Mary Jane, said the family lived on a farm 
east of DeWitt before they left for Missouri. The 
1865 Illinois state census also showed them living 
in Piatt County. 

He said the family left Illinois October 16, 1865 and 
traveled by covered wagon pulled by an ox team. 
They went to Kansas west of Asbury, Missouri, 
where they planned to take some of the Joy land, an 
area granted to a Mr. Joy by the government for 
building a railroad, which he did not build. The 
family moved to Missouri in 1867 and settled near 
Medoc. Medoc was so new there were green stumps 
all over town when they arrived. Sedalia was the 
nearest source of supply. The town was built with a 
square and hoped to be the county seat. When the 
Joy railroad was not built, Carthage was made the 
county seat. He said he remembered seeing the 
soldiers on the military road on the way to Fort 
Scott, Kansas to be mustered out of the army. 
Following the death of his father, Charles lived with 
the George Bell family. 

In 1886, Charles Kerr was helping build the railroad 
in Chautauqua County, Kansas, where he met 
Elzina H. (Ella) Heape, a daughter of James and 
Derrinda Teafertiller Heap. Ella Heape was born in 
Cherokee County, Kansas March 18, 1869. The 
Heaps were cooking meals for a group of railroad 
construction workers. James Heap was the son of 
Thomas and Elizabeth Heap of Perry County, 
Illinois and Cherokee County, Kansas. Derrinda 
Teafertiller Heap was the daughter of George and 
Emily Teafertiller of Perry County, Illinois. Charles 
and Ella Heape were married at Peru, Kansas June 
21, 1886. They went to the Medoc, Missouri area, 
where they lived until about 1890, when they moved 
to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Charles worked as 
brakeman on the Santa Fe Railroad. Ella Heape 
Kerr died on February 17, 1895 following child 
birth at 6:30 p. m. The funeral took place at 2:00 p. 
m. at the home at 915 Gallinas Street. She died of 
child bed fever. Charles Kerr was a member of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen. The newspaper, 
The Optic, (February 18, 1895), asked the members 
to attend the funeral. Ella Kerr was buried in the 
Odd Fellows Cemetery at Las Vegas, New Mexico. 
A sister of Charles, Alice Kerr Scott, went to New 
Mexico to get the baby, Ella Mae, and took her 
home to care for her, but the baby later died. Unable 
to get someone to properly care for the children in 
New Mexico, Charles Kerr was forced to return to 
Missouri, where the children were placed in the care 

of a foster family, John Smith. Charles worked on 
the farm of John Bell in his coal bank. 

On July 30, 1896, Charles Kerr married Millie Bain, 
a daughter of Henry and Elvira Bain. She had one 
son from a previous marriage, Ray Connor 
Richardson. They built a house on her father's farm 
near Medoc and farmed there a while. On October 
3, 1903, he bought a general store from John H. 
Barrett and he also bought a hotel so they would 
have a place to live. When Medoc failed to obtain 
the right of way for a railroad, they moved the 
contents of the store to Asbury, Missouri on March 
8, 1907. They operated this store most of the time 
for the next 35 years. They quit the business in 
1943. They had tried to sell the store several times 
but always had to take it back. At one time, Charles 
Kerr operated the grain elevator, served as president 
of the Bank of Asbury, and owned several farms in 
the area. Much of the land was used for making hay. 
Charles Kerr was one of the leading citizens of the 
community from 1907 until two years before his 
death in 1962, when he moved to Carl Junction, 

Charles Kerr was married to Millie Bain Kerr for 62 
years until her death in March, 1959. They 
celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in July, 
1946 with an open house. 

Among the many events of his long life about which 
he liked to talk was his purchase of the first car in 
the community, a 1906 Maxwell. He continued to 
drive his own car until he was past 90 years old. He 
liked to tell stories about the early days in Missouri 
and New Mexico and remembered seeing Jesse 
James when he was a boy. He was an active 
member of the Odd Fellow Lodge at Asbury and 
later of the lodge at Carl Junction. He was a staunch 
Republican, and he was always interested in 
newspaper and radio accounts of everything from 
politics to agriculture to baseball. On June 14, 1961, 
he was awarded a bronze plaque by the Young 
Democrats of Jasper County, Missouri because, at 
the age of 97, he was the oldest voter in the county 
to participate in the election of 1960. He remained 
active and alert until shortly before his death at St. 
John's Hospital in Joplin, Missouri on April 8, 1962 
at the age of 98. He was buried in Crocker Cemetery 

near Opolis, Kansas”. (Mildred Welty Slavens, 
Family of James Kerr, Blue Springs, Missouri, 
Second Edition, August, 1996) 

The earliest Kerr ancestor we have found was James 
Kerr, who first lived in Philadelphia and then 
moved to the east side of the Susquehanna River 
near Harrisburg. James Kerr died in Paxton 
Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (now 
Dauphin County) in July, 1748, leaving a will. His 
oldest child, John Kerr, was born about 1711. He 
first moved to Pennsboro Township and Carlisle, 
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and in 1884, 
moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania. He 
lived in Nottingham Township and attended the 
Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church north of 
Washington, Pennsylvania. John’s third child was 
James Kerr, married to Elizabeth Power, and John 
Kerr, father of Charles Merlin Kerr, was their sixth 

We traced this family line from John’s 1789 will, which 
was brought by his grandson, John, to Missouri and later 
taken by John’s wife, Elizabeth Crawford Branin Kerr, 
and their daughter, Alice Kerr Scott, to Oklahoma. 
Charles Kerr was 2 when he moved to Missouri, and he 
did not know his brothers and sisters from John Kerr’s 
two previous marriages; they did not come to Missouri 
with their father. 

Charles Kerr’s mother, Elizabeth Crawford Branin Kerr, 
was born in Auglaize County, Ohio in 1829. She was the 
daughter of Eli Crawford and Nancy Adams of Auglaize 
County and the granddaughter of James and Elizabeth 
Crawford of Green County, Ohio, who came from 
Maryland and Delaware. Nancy Adams, daughter of 
Angelo Adams and Elizabeth Bellum, was born in 
Kentucky in 1803. Her father, Angelo, was a 
brother of Eli’s mother, Elizabeth Adams Crawford. 

Eli and Nancy Crawford and William and Elizabeth 
Crawford Branin moved to Macon County, Illinois 
in 1856, and William died there. Elizabeth married 
John Kerr in 1858. Three of her children, Eli, 
Emma, and Jacob Branin, moved to Jasper County, 
Missouri with them. One son, Rufus, remained in 
Clinton, Dewitt County, Illinois with her brother, 
James Crawford. After John Kerr’s death in 1870, 
she first lived with her son, Millard Filmore Kerr in 
Medoc, then with Charles Kerr and his family in 

Asbury, and finally in Scraper, Oklahoma with her 
daughter, Alice Kerr Scott, where she died in 1911. 
(Mildred Welty Slavens, James Crawford Family 
History, Blue Springs, Missouri, August, 1997) 

Elzina H. Heape, my great grandmother and first 
wife of Charles Merlin Kerr, was the daughter of 
James Heape and Derrinda Tefertiller of Perry 
County, Illinois. James moved with his wife and the 
Tefertillers to Wise County, Texas in 1858. James 
and Derrinda’s older brother, Marion Tefertiller, 
served in the Confederate Army, and Marion was 
killed during the war. After the War, James and 
Derrinda moved to Cherokee County, Kansas, 
where Elzina was born. After Elzina’s death in New 
Mexico in 1895, Charles Kerr had no further 
contact with the Tefertiller family. 

George W. Tefertiller son of Jacob Heinrich 
Tefertiller ) and Charlotte Plum and grandson of 
Michael Tefertiller and Barbara Wotring, was born 
in North Carolina in 1807. He married Emily T. 
Walker, who was born in Georgia. They lived in 
Perry County, Illinois in the 1850 Census, in Wise 
County, Texas in the 1860 Census, and in Dade 
County, Missouri with the family of their second 
son, Henry Franklin Tefertiller, by 1870. George 
and Emily Tefertiller are buried in the Fox-Langford 
Cemetery in Dade County, Missouri, which was 
restored by their Great great grandson, Bernard A. 
Tefertiller. great grandson of Henry Franklin 
Tefertiller. Bernard provided some of this 
information about the Tefertiller family. (Mildred 
Welty Slavens, Michael Tefertiller Family History, 
Raymore, Missouri, October, 1999, unpublished) 

Al Morse, President 

Marjorie Slavens, Newsletter Editor 
Julia Morse, Website Administrator and Librarian